Queensland: Recent studies have found that more than a quarter of asthma patients are prescribed potentially dangerous amounts of steroid tablets. Based on the findings, researchers warned that prescribing dangerous amounts of steroid tablets puts them at greater risk of serious side effects.
Researchers led by Professor John Upham of the University of Queensland analyzed data from the Drug Benefit Plan (PBS) to see if Australians with asthma had taken multiple steroid tablet courses.
This study was published in the Australian Medical Journal.
Professor Upham said the study examined more than 120,000 cases of asthma patients who were given one or more prescriptions for steroid tablets by their doctors between 2014 and 2018.
“Researchers have found that more than 25% of these patients are likely to be in a chronic condition,” said Professor Upham.
“Short-term courses of steroid tablets are effective in treating asthma attacks in the short term, but it is becoming clear that repeated use can cause serious long-term side effects such as diabetes, osteoporosis and cataracts. There is, “he said.
In particular, about 2.5 million Australians suffer from asthma, a condition that affects women more than men.
Professor Upham said the best way to prevent asthma attacks is to use preventive inhalers on a regular basis.
“Unfortunately, our study found that half of asthma patients who were repeatedly given a script of steroid tablets did not use the inhaler as often as needed.”
“A better approach is needed to educate and support asthma patients and encourage regular use of prophylactic inhalers. This avoids or minimizes the need for steroid tablets and the side effects they bring. It’s the best way to limit it, “he added.
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